Which Countries?

Alan Mar 28, 2000

  1. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    We could really do with some posts in this new European forum, otherwise I will feel redundant [​IMG]
    Please let me know what countries you are familiar with, and any questions relating to anything european, motive power, trains, fixed equipment, etc. I'll bet there is someone who knows the answer!
    When posting a comment on a particular country, it would help if you first put the initials for that country. i.e. UK: Fr: Ger: CH: It: etc. followed by the message heading.
    News items would be very helpful, for items we may otherwise miss. Thanks.

    Alan http://eurogallery.homestead.com
     
  2. John Whitby

    John Whitby E-Mail Bounces

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    CH My great love is Swiss railways but I also have an interest in the railways of all the adjoining countries (France, Germany, Italy, Austria)
    My question is: "The SBB "Grey Mouse" RABe units have just been retired from regular service. The power cars were fitted with 4 current collector pantographs for use in the various countries that the units visited when in TEE service. Were the characteristics of all 4 different? I think that at least 2 of them were suitable for use in Switzerland. Any ideas?


    [This message has been edited by John Whitby (edited 28 March 2000).]
     
  3. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks for the post John, I knew I could rely on you! Can't help with the Panto question, but hopefully someone else will [​IMG]

    You did not mention your great web site, I am sure the folks here would love it as I do, especially your Model Railway, the snow scenes are wonderful. (Now you will HAVE to post your site details!!)

    Alan http://eurogallery.homestead.com

    [This message has been edited by Alan (edited 28 March 2000).]
     
  4. eddelozier

    eddelozier TrainBoard Member

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    I've traveled to Europe twice and noticed that all the engines and cars are equipped with 'bumper plates'. I can think of safety reasons, but is there other reasons for them?
    The USA railroads do not use them as far as I know.
    Sorry this forum wasn't here in December, 1999. I took a two week trip through Spain and I had many questions then. Loved the trips on the AVE and Talgo through Spain.

    Eddie
     
  5. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Do you mean buffers?

    In the US the coupler also acts as a buffer between vehicles, but in Europe, the couplings are hook and link (a pair of links with a screw adjuster which can be tightened so that the buffers compress a bit to take out slack between vehicles) so we have three fittings to do the work of one!

    Experiments have been carried out with automatic couplings, mainly in block trains, but widespread change would cost a fortune as every locomotive and car would have to be changed to keep things compatible.

    We would still love to hear any recollections of your visit to Europe, especially the Spanish bit, as this country seems to be neglected a bit.



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    Alan

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
     
  6. John Whitby

    John Whitby E-Mail Bounces

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    OK Alan you have talked me into it. My website address is http://website.lineone.net/~john.p.whitby
    Everyone welcome.
    I also agree with your comments about Spanish railways......come on Eddie tell us about your visit.
     
  7. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hello John, Just had another look at your layout pages, and this time I actually read the description and looked at the track plan, etc. instead of just drooling over the pictures [​IMG]

    Takes me back to my several visits to Switzerland, and to the HO Swiss layout I once had, before defecting to Belgian railways!

    I then came 'home' to American N scale, but still love the country and railways of Switzerland.

    I assume that your layout is permanent, and not portable, for exhibiting?

    Keep up the inspirational work.



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    Alan

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
    http://eurogallery.homestead.com
     
  8. eddelozier

    eddelozier TrainBoard Member

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    Alan,
    Thanks for the info about the 'buffers'. I figured they had a important role.
    The trip to Spain brings up another question, one that I asked at another forum but got no answer. Why does Spain have two different gauges. The "AVE" (which I found out is the word for 'bird' in Spanish) can only run South to Seville from Madrid and then you must take the "Talgo" train further South into Malaga. This is do to a guage change 'on the run' South of Seville. The guage change is a strange happening! You slow down to maybe 5-10 MPH and then you hear and feel the adjustments being made to the trucks. I wish I could have watched the action from outside the train!
    I bought a 9 day First Class Spain Flexipass which was one day too much for a two week visit, but worked out fine. Went first class every time, even though the fare tax was extra. Love that 'First Class'!! Serve you meals, snacks and drinks along the trip, plus no worry about getting a great seat.
    Madrid for three days:
    Took Renfe local North to Segovia...not first class but it got us there.
    Bus South to Toledo....too short for train trip (shucks!).
    AVE South to Cordoba (less than two hours).
    Loved Cordoba ... decided to stay there a few days and take further rail trips from there. Was perfect solution...South to Madrid twice via AVE and then AVE to Madrid with change to Talgo and on to Malaga. Able to see must everything and be able to return to Cordoba and hotel.
    Even my wife loved the railroad trips..I think she is seeing my love of trains?
    Had to do alot of research prior to trip. Got all the AVE and Renfe railroad schedules off the Intrernet, which helped me plan each day. I couldn't find much on Railroad Museums and or Hobby shops before I went. But, I got lucky and saw advertisment at the Madrid AVE rail station for the Rail Museum. It turned out to be a great place to visit. Besides old vintage Euorpean rail ( had 'Talgo II') there
    are several large model railroad layouts and several rooms of old to new models on display. They ran the trains on the layouts at set times. Of course they had a model railroad gift shop! I bought about $100 dollars worth of Renfe cars and a German BR 20 to pull them with.
    Also found terrific hobby shop in downtown Seville. Like a kid in candy shop...bought some more models (AVE electric) to match the one we have been using each day.
    Now have model trains from Austria, Germany, France & Spain. I was in England too early to take the tunnel. Must get back some day.
    I don't want to ramble on much more....but
    train travel in Spain is good and the fastest way to see the country.

    Eddie
     
  9. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Eddie, I am pleased you enjoyed your visit to Spain, thanks for sharing your experiences. I have been to Spain a few times, but for family holidays, and only once, whilst driving did I see a train! A large green diesel on a freight, but it eluded me.

    I suppose for visitors from the US the attraction of European railways is their great variety. Each country's rail system has a unique flavour. For US visitors, Belgium is a great place as they still have many active GM built diesels, the sound of 567 prime movers is special, especially on a rapidly accellerating passenger train, or a heavy freight. But I rode in the cab of a double-ended F7 look-alike, and when under accelleration the noise was incredible!! How US engineers could stand that racket I don't know. No wonder the Belgians rebuilt most of them with isolated cabs. [​IMG]

    Now is the time to visit, as new electric locomotive deliveries are causing retirement of lots of these over the next year or so.

    I have been on a number of railfan trips to Belgium, and on all of these we were allowed to ride the locomotive cabs, changing over at each stop to give as many people a chance to ride as possible. Some of the big electric locomotives are pretty awesome to ride, and extremely stable.

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    Alan

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
    http://eurogallery.homestead.com

    [This message has been edited by Alan (edited 30 March 2000).]
     
  10. eddelozier

    eddelozier TrainBoard Member

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    Alan,
    A little off topic but... I know about the noise that you mentioned. I had the pleasure, when I as 9 years old (1950), to operate a EMD E8. Down through the yards in Altoona, PA USA.
    It was the first prize in a train race I entered. We climbed through the center door and had to walk forward to the cab. The engineer decide to get cute and fired up the engines.......I wanted to jump out the little round windows! The roar was too much. But I made it to the cab....foot on the dead-man's break, several toots on the air horn, pulled the throttle out a couple of notches...and off we went for 5-10 minutes.
    Sorry there is no South American forum...
    many stories from there. Wife is from Ecuador. Rode the cab of a 2-6-0 Baldwin steam for three hours and on top of boxcars down the mountains.

    http://www.deloziers.com/mpicchu.htm
    http://www.deloziers.com/ecutrain.htm

    Eddie
     
  11. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  12. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  13. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    A South American Forum would be intersting if we could generate enough activity. We would prefer to keep things English speaking if possible [​IMG]

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    Ship It On The FRISCO!
     

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